At one time his career had taken a deep plunge, but sungura musician Alick Macheso seems to have struck the right chord following the release of his album Tsoka Dzerwendo.
By Moses Mugugunyeki
The six-track album, which was released early this year, has become a hit with most songs currently rocking national radio and booming in public transport, shops, bars and high-density suburbs.
Tsoka Dzerwendo sold close to 100 000 copies on the first day of its release, which was followed by a massive album launch at Harare International Conference Centre four days later. Harare businessman George Chimhini bought a CD for $5 000, while business tycoon Phillip Chiyangwa chipped in with a residential stand at the launch.
Since then, Macheso has regained his mojo, earning accolades as one of the most sought-after musicians. Most of his shows are sold out, and he is raking in thousands of dollars every week. Orchestra Mberikwazvo members are now getting their full salaries every week and smiling all the way to the bank.
“Morale is high in Macheso’s camp. He is enjoying a new lease of life, thanks to the new album,” said a source close to the sungura ace.
“Band members are getting close to $200 each per week, unlike in the past when they would get $20 or $50.”
Promoters and beer outlet operators are clamouring to have the Madhawu hit-maker perform at their premises.
“Some people who used to shun us are now at the forefront, clamouring to have us perform at their bars and clubs,” Macheso told The Standard Style.
Although the musician was evasive on how much he was raking, he acknowledged that all was well compared to the time before he released Tsoka Dzerwendo.
“This album is doing wonders and it has reunited me with old friends in the entertainment industry. I am overwhelmed by the rate at which we are getting show bookings,” he said.
Macheso, who gave a vintage performance at Warren Park 1 Bar on Friday, also performed last night at the opening ceremony of Caprive Pub and Grill at Ziko Shopping Centre in Seke.
“This month he is fully booked and at the end of the month he invades Gweru and Bulawayo. He is wanted everywhere,” the source said.
Macheso’s live shows have been boosted by the return of lead guitarist Noel Nyazanda, chanter Jonas Kasamba and drummer Obert Gomba, who had moved away from Orchestra Mberikwazvo alongside dancer Franco “Slomo” Dhaka to form their own outfit Extra Kwazvose.
Apart from the trio, Macheso also welcomed prodigal son Donald Gogo, who had walked out of Orchestra Mberikwazvo over a salary dispute.
With Jah Prayzah making final touches on his forthcoming album Mudhara Vachauya, Macheso needs to maintain the momentum.
“We are working very hard and I am promising our fans the best out of Orchestra Mberikwazvo. We will try to keep this momentum,” Macheso said.